Over the past five years or so, skateboarding has seen its best underground companies ascend to mainstream popularity. Now also for the first time, European brands – Pontus Alv’s Polar, Paul Shier’s Isle, etc. – are as popular stateside as they are in their home countries, making for an interestingly open playing field. Vivien Feil started Magenta Skateboards in 2010, immediately surprising audiences with its holistic approach to street skating; the rhetoric in Magenta videos, the visual elements, the meticulous collaborations – all point to Feil’s understanding of skateboarding as a livable art form. Where we’ve heard snippets of his thoughts before, Feil finally sat down with Breaks Magazine for an honest, open conversation on running a small company, style, and more. Enjoy a key excerpt below, then head here to view the whole piece.
Have you been busy?
Super busy, ridiculously busy. We’re trying to do a lot of things. Trying to make an independent skate company, we want to have our own website, our own system not just people getting excited because they saw some collab or something. We want to build something really strong and independent so there’s a lot of areas.
You know you’re building a house, you don’t want something that’s going to fall with the wind. So it’s a lot of work, really trying to think about every detail.
So, I feel Magenta is pretty well recognised by the skate community now but for those that may not know do you want to just give a brief overview?
Yeah, for sure. So basically Magenta first started off in 2009 and we introduced it in 2010. We did it out of France between Strasbourg, Bordeux and Paris. The idea was to make a skateboard company that is our own vision, which is to make something by skateboarders, for skateboarders. Something that doesn’t feel like it’s fuelled by the same things that society is. Not something that when you really break it down it’s like, ‘oh they’re just trying to make money’. So the idea was to make something that reflected our love of skateboarding. We had certain ideas about skateboarding so now we’re going to make a company to express these ideas and create cultural content for people who like skateboarding. That’s the goal of the company, not to make millions of whatever. I mean if it happens it’s cool but we want to make people think about skateboarding and present what we like about skateboarding and that’s what the brand is about and that’s why we started it.